University of Pittsburgh

A Career Switch Proves To Be A Sweet Move for Katz Alum

Thursday, June 30, 2016

When Brian Burton (MBA ’15) became interested in a career switch, he knew earning a Master of Business Administration from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business would open doors to a career in brand management.  

“Prior to earning my MBA, I was a branch manager for First National Bank Texas. I wanted to make the switch into corporate marketing, and because I had been involved in the National Black MBA Association for many years, I came into contact with leaders of the Pitt Black MBA Network (PBAN). The leaders of PBAN connected me with Katz recruiters and right away I knew the program would be a good fit for me,” Burton says. 

Burton decided to pursue this new career path because he enjoys of the element of healthy competition.  

“Brand management truly lets you own your business,” Burton says.  “You make decisions that will be reflected in the market and get to instantly see how well your strategy holds up against competitors. It’s like watching your children grow. Secretly, everyone wants to say, ‘My kid is better than yours!’”

A recipient of the PBAN scholarship, Burton was able to take advantage of outside the classroom opportunities while earning his MBA, which helped prepare him to re-enter the workforce following graduation. Burton served as Marketing Club president, a Roberto Clemente MBA Association board member, and took an active role in the Admitted Student Weekend Planning Committee.  

“I worked full time while earning my undergraduate degree and knew how much of a detriment that was to my professional and educational development. Without the PBAN scholarship, that history might have repeated itself,” Burton says. 

“PBAN also connected me with Katz alumni who gave me great advice on how to be the best business professional I could be. They set a high standard, and without that standard, I never would have known how far I could go,” Burton says.

Following graduation, Burton accomplished his goal of becoming a brand manager. He joined The Hershey Company as an associate brand manager and is currently working on the Reese’s Franchise. 

“When I received the scholarship, I felt like I had been given a second chance to prove that I could be a high performer. My landing a role and the success I have had in brand management are directly linked to PBAN and the Katz program,” Burton says.

Contact Tricina Cash (A&S ’89, EMBA ’09), PBAN president and board chairwoman, for information on joining PBAN or supporting the PBAN Scholarship Initiative. For the latest updates and activity information, follow PBAN on Facebook and Twitter